Washington (May 11, 2020) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) advocated for increased small business-led research related to the coronavirus pandemic and response. The Senators wrote to the eleven federal agencies that participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and called on them to coordinate their efforts and focus research on addressing the coronavirus response where applicable. The SBIR program was designed to provide instrumental funding to “infant” industry research and development where obtaining private capital is not yet an option. In their letter, the Senators call on the agencies to put the more than $3 billion in research funding at their disposal towards the fight against the coronavirus.
“Although larger industry will play a vital role in these efforts, small businesses are ready, willing, and more than able to support this response with their own novel ideas and research.” write the Senators in their letters. “The SBIR/STTR programs are some of America’s most successful tool at fostering cutting-edge research. Through these programs, we can harness the power of innovation against this pandemic by enlisting small business in the fight.”
A copy of the letters can be found HERE.
SBIR has a proven track record supporting job creation in innovative industries for almost four decades. In 2017, the eleven federal agencies that participate in the programs obligated $2.67 billion of SBIR and $369 million of STTR funding to American small business. To date, funding from the SBIR program has resulted in 70,000 issued patents, close to 700 public companies, and approximately $41 billion in venture capital investments.